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Golden Eagles face OVC road challenge at Murray State Saturday


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By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- It's "go time" for the Tennessee Tech football team (3-2/0-1 OVC), which hits the road for a contest Saturday at Murray State. The Golden Eagles dropped their league opener two weeks ago to Tennessee State, then stepped out of conference last week for one final non-OVC encounter.

This week, coach Watson Brown's team seeks to break into the win column in conference action but the task will be a demanding challenge. Murray State is coming off a 35-34 overtime victory against Jacksonville State, and the Racers have dealt Tech losses in each of the past three meetings.

Last year's game got out of hand for Tech, as the Racers rolled to a 70-35 victory in Stewart Stadium. The OVC schedule puts Tech right back in the same spot this week as the Golden Eagles seek their second road win of the season. Tech claimed a 30-27, come-from-behind victory at Hampton University on Sept. 14.

Tech and Murray State meet for the 79th time, with the Golden Eagles holding a 42-35-1 edge in the all-time series that began in 1930. The Racers have won the last three games by a combined 152-85 score. Prior to that stretch, the Golden Eagles had produced wins in seven of 10 games.

Tech ranks first in the OVC and is tied for first in the nation in red zone offense, posting a perfect 17-for-17 effort. Tech has four touchdowns and three field goals in their 17 ventures inside the opponent 20.

The Golden Eagle ground game was limited to 74 yards last week by Indiana State, and lost senior Bud Golden with a broken leg. Golden, who had only received word earlier in the week that he was eligible to finally play, pounded out 36 hard yards and scored two touchdowns in his brief time on the field. That will put the ball in the hands of juniors Cody Forbes, who has produced career-high games twice this season, and Stephen Bush, who returned from an injury to see limited action last week against Indiana State.

Junior quarterback Darian Stone left the game early last week with an injury, and redshirt freshman Jared Davis led Tech on an 11-play, 77-yard touchdown drive in the final five minutes for the win. Davis finished the game 11-for-12 for 97 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Despite limited action, the Tullahoma, Tenn., native ranks second in the OVC in passing efficiency with a 154.1 rating, second only to Jimmy Garappolo of league-leading Eastern Illinois.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m., and Golden Eagle fans can listen to the action on 98.5 Kiss FM with Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson and Dylan Vazzano on the calls.